Intensive Courses

Intensives are graded, three-week long courses led by St. Anne’s-Belfield Upper School faculty on topics not typically emphasized in the School’s core curriculum.

The program is designed to offer students and teachers the chance to explore one topic of academic merit deeply by way of projects, experiential learning, guest lectures, and field trips. By halting the core curriculum for the 14 school days between the Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks, Intensives provide unobstructed opportunities to journey off campus, collaborate with local and international experts, and develop deep and lasting bonds among a small group of people who might not otherwise share an academic experience.

The majority of Intensives are open to students in grades nine through twelve, so each cohort is significantly diverse. Boys, girls, boarding students, international students, and teachers teaching outside their disciplines are part of what make Intensives so unique. Students engage in their Intensive from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. during the month of December and can be found examining the impact of neuroscience on learning, making motorized vehicles, polishing their debate skills, engaging in local non-profit work and much more.

2016 Intensive Options

Branching Out: Exploring the Roots of Chemistry Through Metal and Ceramic Arts

Ms. Parker and Ms. Bush
Sophomores Enrolled in Chemistry, Juniors, Seniors

Believing that students will make better art through chemistry, students will be branching out to explore their artistic voice while investigating the chemical properties of metal and ceramic arts. Students will design, create, and complete a sculpture or installation with wire or clay while investigating the chemical components of the artistic medium. Examining everything in the studio and lab from the chemicals in glazes, clay structure, metallic properties, historical and contemporary artists and local craftsmen. The Intensive will include experiments, readings, guest artists, studio and museum visits, movie nights, lectures, studio time and individual feedback. This class is designed for students who are eager to develop strong artistic skills and have interest in real world chemistry applications.

Cents and Sensibility: An Introduction to Personal Finance

Mr. Colombo & Mr. O’Donnell

Everybody needs to use money, but not everyone uses it wisely. This course will help you develop basic personal finance skills. We’ll examine the basics of how money works, including budgeting, credit, investments, and taxes, as well as the mathematical skills essential for handling money with confidence. Understanding money, however, is not enough. We’ll also be examining the psychology of money, including how money relates to happiness and how common errors in reasoning can have significant financial impacts.

Digital Photography & Computer Graphics

Ms. Moore-Coll & Mr. Minster

How have digital photography and computer editing shaped the direction of photography? How can computers simulate entire worlds to render immersive, lifelike visuals? In this class, we’ll learn the fundamentals of digital photography and computer graphics. Once you have explored these mediums and learned about the building blocks, you will choose a personal direction—photojournalistic projects or graphic-design imagery—and spend the second part of the Intensive period in developing an extended project. You’ll learn how to work your digital SLR camera, including understanding f/stop, shutter speed, and ISO, and you’ll also learn some fundamentals of code and the mathematical functions that go into developing computer graphics. Requirements include a digital SLR camera, a laptop on which you can edit photographs, and a reasonable comfort level with algebra and functions. We will visit the Newseum in Washington, D.C., and/or a university computer graphics “demo day,” and your photography work will be done in the field as you pursue a subject of your choice.

Film Noir Studies & Production

Mr. Taylor & Mr. Mattise

A film studies and production workshop focused on the Film Noir genre from its introduction in early 1930s German cinema through mid-1980s Neo-Noir. The workshop is centered on the critical viewing of films alongside a full class, Noir-style film production to be written, directed, produced and acted by the members of the course.

Fundamentals of Songwriting

Mr. Lane & Mrs. Fisher

In this Intensive you will explore basic chord structure and chord progressions and the process of writing meaningful lyrics. Though not required, familiarity with an instrument or experience singing is suggested. The course will also include learning the process of analyzing popular songs, which will be selected from the music of the past seven decades, in terms of enduring popularity, musicality, and lyric content. No music theory skills necessary, but certainly helpful.

Habitat for Humanity/Poverty in Charlottesville

Mr. Bartholomew & Ms. Park
Seniors Only

A study of poverty in Charlottesville, with a hand-on community service aspect of building with Habitat for Humanity three days a week. We will be completing houses in the Crozet area. Participants will be taught building skills, how to operate power tools (must be 18), and the general finishing skills required to complete a home. Each workday is the approximate length of the school day. On non-build days, students will either learn building skills or study what leads to people not being able to afford their own homes.

Introduction to Information Technology & Networking

Mr. Gagnon & Mr. Adair

Students will learn the basics of how computers work as well as diagnosing and repairing problems. They will also learn the components of building a local area network, maintaining the network, and troubleshooting network issues. There will be two to three troubleshooting practicals where students will be required to identify and resolve faults that were intentionally injected into the networks they built.

Issues in Local and Regional Resource Management

Mr. Johnson & Mr. Zunka

Students will explore the current issues affecting our local and regional natural resources (including land, water, forests, and wildlife), as well as the strategies employed to manage these resources. Student will study the legal, ethical, governmental, and financial implications of resource use and management through presentations by experts in various fields, independent research, and visiting local sites. By wrestling with the costs and benefits of resource use and conservation, students will become more informed citizens who can offer rational and balanced opinions on these complex issues. Assignments will include readings, independent and group projects and papers, and debates.

Issues of Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Mr. Shoup & Mrs. Robertson
Juniors and Seniors

This course is designed to engage students in the examination of the role of race and gender in their lives and their world. Students will also develop a basic understanding of the meaning of social justice and the ways in which movements work towards achieving a more equitable and just society. Students will begin by developing the appropriate vocabulary and basic understanding of the evolution of race and gender in contemporary society before beginning to explore the current conditions in the local, national and global communities. By examining recent events in the US, Supreme Court decisions regarding affirmative action and abortion, as well as the role of privilege and class in American Society, students will be encouraged to explore the ways in which the recent past influences our present. Students will look at the ways in which these issues play out through art, history, and literature during the past 40 years, and will finish their study with a student designed project requiring them to do some work in social justice in the local community.

Math, Art, and Nature

Ms. Martin & Mr. Cohen

We will be exploring the beauty of mathematics in the natural world. Some of the topics we will be studying are the connections between the Fibonacci sequence, the Golden Ratio, and how these elements are found in nature; “Geometric” art (both manmade and natural); the Big Bang Theory, evolution, and God’s role in it all; the connections between mathematics and music; and how mathematics can explain the inner workings of the real-world. Two books will be used as references: How Math Explains the World by James D. Stein and Is God a Mathematician? by Mario Livio.

Movers and Makers: An Introduction to DIY Culture and Practice

Dr. Jones & Dr. Craig

In this Intensive, we will explore the Maker movement and delve into Maker culture. Like other Makers, we will learn by doing, building, playing, and creating in a social environment. We will learn how to design and print 3D objects. We'll learn to program and set-up devices called Arduinos that interact with their environment using sensors and actuators to create robots, e-textiles, digital "Magic 8-balls", and more. No programming background is required- we’ll learn whatever we need to know as we go.

What will you make? Want a tracksuit or backpack with turn-signals? Who doesn't? Want your houseplant to send you a tweet every time the soil gets too dry? Now it can! You are only limited by your imagination!

Musicals, Literature, and History

Mr. Beardsley & Mr. Brayden

Students will explore several musicals and their connection to literature, history, and different time periods. Some musicals studied may include Les Miserables, Fiddler on the Roof, Hamilton, Oliver, and Miss Saigon.

Philosophy & Neuroscience of Consciousness

Dr. Troy & Ms. Van Liew

Are you really in there?

This cohort of students will explore the emerging fields of the philosophy and neuroscience of consciousness. Following a review of the history and philosophy of the self and consciousness, students will study what our brains tell us about the world, what the world tells us about our brains, and what progress philosophy and neuroscience have made in resolving and understanding the two. Students, through engagement with both new and old philosophical texts and recent research in neuroscience, will examine whether neuroscience can help answer some of the questions that have puzzled philosophers for thousands of years. What exactly is consciousness? Do we have free will? Does our perception match reality? Are we the only beings to have consciousness?

Social Entrepreneurship

Ms. Swain and Ms. Phillips

Instead of checking boxes to fit into someone else’s box, learn to build your own future! In this interdisciplinary course you will begin building a business plan that makes a difference, culminating in a final “Pitch Competition” to a panel of local entrepreneurs. With the help of local entrepreneurs, you will refine your ideas, make connections in the community, and begin to put your business plan into action. Embark on an entrepreneurial adventure that can change the world!

Sports & Emergency Medicine

Ms. Bartos & Mr. Eith

Students will be introduced to basic concepts of sports and emergency medicine, and will gain a better understanding of the possible related careers. They will learn medical terminology, some anatomy and physiology, taping and wrapping techniques, and other basic skills that incorporate injury prevention, evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation. We will visit or hear from a variety of medical professionals.

Sports In American Life: History, Culture, and Politics 1860 - Present

Mr. Smith & Mr. Yeagle

Sports have shaped American culture and politics in consequential and often unrecognized ways since the mid-nineteenth century. In this Intensive, students will explore that influence through old newspaper archives, long-form magazine essays, and documentaries, among other sources. We will begin with Town Ball in the 1860s and Teddy Roosevelt’s efforts to save college football in 1905. Students will then explore such topics as the role of women in sports, the significance of Jackie Robinson for the Civil Rights movement, the mass commercialization of sports in the Jordan era, and the rise of the modern media culture after the creation of ESPN. We will pay special attention to the ways sports have helped to advance public dialogue around sensitive issues (Magic Johnson and AIDS; Michael Sam and homosexuality) and the ways sports have helped Americans heal after national tragedies (9/11; Boston Marathon Bombing). In all cases, we will consider the ways sports have helped to foster identity formation across time and space as American demography has changed.

The Art & Science of Persuasion

Mr. Klaus & Ms. Moran

In this course, you will learn the many ways that humans attempt to influence one another and how we are moved to feel and act in certain ways, sometimes without knowing it is even happening. What makes one politician’s speech more effective than another’s (it’s often not the substance)? What makes one product more attractive than another (it’s often not the quality)? Why do we find one sitcom funnier than another (it’s often not the quality of the jokes)? Why is one job candidate hired over another (it’s often not the qualifications)? Why are some juries persuaded and others not (it’s often not the the evidence)? The answers to these questions and more rest in an awareness of the science of influence, the construction of an effective argument, and the elements of rhetoric. Students will walk away from this course prepared to compose and deliver an influential and memorable speech and aware of the powers of influence that impact our lives each day.

The Teenage Brain

Mr. Cromer & Ms. Speidel
Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors

What is going on inside that brain of yours? This intensive will explore physiological and psychological aspects of the teenage brain, and the reasons why teens take risks, make impulsive decisions, and why addiction, anxiety, and depression are on the rise in adolescence. We will also examine how teens can use effective coping strategies to deal with stress, learning issues, and mental health challenges.

Using Dr. Frances Jensen’s book The Teenage Brain as a guide, students will research specific aspects of cognitive psychology and neuroscience, and visiting experts in the field -- including cognitive scientists, neurologists, therapists, and counselors -- will speak with the class.

Essential Questions: How and why is the teenage brain unique? How can teens optimize brain function in and out of school? How can teens use their knowledge about brain function to manage stress and maintain balanced, healthy lives.

Vamos: Hispanic Culture Through History, Religion, Dance, and Food

Dr. Visscher-Gingerich & Ms. Moses

Students in this course will learn about different aspects of Hispanic cultures through the study of history, religion, literature, dance and food. One of the main aims of this course is to foster greater global empathy. This course will have a nice balance of mini lectures, student research and presentations, fieldtrips, and hands-on experience. Some of the highlights of the course are: a visit to the Dumbarton Oaks Museum in Washington, D.C. to see artifacts from the Inca, Maya, and Aztec civilizations; participation in the celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe celebration at a local church in Charlottesville; salsa classes with a professional Colombian salsa instructor; cooking classes with professional chefs from Mexico, Perú, and Spain; interviews of Hispanic immigrants about their immigration experience to the U.S. At the end of the course, students will share their knowledge through presentations and salsa classes given to Learning Village students.

This course will be conducted in English.

Vive La Francophonie!

Dr. Reeves and Ms. Flatin

This Intensive is intended to be a deep dive into the francophone, or French-speaking, world. We will explore the music, film, food, and the arts of the various vibrant cultures that make up la Francophonie. No knowledge of French is necessary; anyone with an interest in learning about other cultures is welcome!

We will begin by establishing a definition and the basic history of the francophone world. Students will explore the various cultures (Quebec, Senegal, Algeria, Morocco, Belgium, Switzerland, Guadeloupe, Haiti, French Polynesia, and France, to name a few!) through different media. We hope to take several field trips locally and to Richmond, to experience francophone art and cuisine. We plan to bring in outside speakers to share their expertise on their various cultures (cooking classes! dance classes!). Students will become experts in their own francophone nation and they will occasionally present their findings to the rest of the class. Assignments will include: brief readings, blog posts, and a final presentation.

World Religions in Central Virginia

Mr. Clark & Dr. Simeone
2016 Course Video

Five field trips, daily yoga, and a guidebook project, the World Religions in Central Virginia Intensive combines experiential learning with religious studies. Visits will span Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and will likely include Ligmincha Bon Buddhist Institute, Satchidananda Ashram Yogaville, Congregation Beth Israel, Christ Episcopal Church, and the Islamic Society of Central Virginia. In addition to gaining background on the religions through scripture and art, the production of a multimedia guidebook based on site visits and interviews will be a central focus. Mindfulness and hatha yoga will also be incorporated into our daily activities. The course enriches the body, mind, heart, and soul.

2015 Intensive Options

Algorithmic Art: Introduction to Computer Graphics

Mr. Minster

How do machines make art? How do design scientists use algebraic concepts to generate the beautiful snowflakes in Frozen? How can computers simulate entire worlds to render immersive, life-like visuals?

This lab-oriented course serves as a practical introduction to the abstract field of computer graphics. While no prior programming experience is required, students should be prepared to spend time each day learning fundamentals of code and new mathematical concepts - comfort with algebra and functions is a must. Students will complete incremental “demos” and work toward a final group project of their own design.

Cents and Sensibility: An Introduction to Personal Finance

Dr. Suhr and Mr. Colombo

Everyone needs to use money, but not everyone uses it wisely. This course will help you develop basic personal finance skills. We’ll examine how money works, including budgeting, credit, investments, and taxes, as well as the mathematical skills essential for handling money with confidence.

Understanding money, however, is not enough. We’ll also be examining the psychology of money, including how money relates to happiness and how common errors in reasoning can have significant financial impacts.

Chamber Music for String and Piano Players

Ms. Lyle

Musicians will study chamber music in small groups paired by performance level and interest. Options include traditional groupings as duets and trios as well as solo works with accompaniment. A high level of independent work will be required during the school day only. The culminating product will be either a recording or live performance. Students will also be asked to reflect on their experience in a medium of their choice (written, presentation, or recording).

Euclid's Elements

Ms. Patterson and Mr. Bartholomew

“We hold these truths to be self evident” is the start of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson’s construction of the Declaration was based on the work of his favorite mathematician, Euclid. Euclid began his book, The Elements, with self evident truths. He used these self evident truths to prove other facts and ultimately explain the physical shape of the world around him. Euclid’s elements have been studied for 23 centuries and are as relevant today as they were when written. It is the ultimate book on truth.

We will start the Intensive with some self evident truths as described in The Elements. We will then use those truths to prove other truths using logical reasoning. Students will then be able to develop skills of logical argument to take a truthful idea and lead it to its logical conclusion. Strong math skills are not essential to develop logical thinking skills. We look forward to taking you on this journey so that you can see why Abraham Lincoln loved this book and kept a copy with him at all times!

Everything You Need to Know, But Didn’t Learn in High School

Mr. Perriello, Ms. Mazzola, Mr. Quagliaroli
Seniors Only

You know how to write a great essay, analyze a poem, and solve a complicated algebra problem. Can you change a tire? Do you know your social security number or your credit score? How do you craft a good resume or cover letter for a job? What should you wear to an interview? How do you solve problems with a difficult roommate? Can you balance a checkbook? What comes after college and why?

In this hands-on course designed to help you navigate life beyond St. Anne’s-Belfield School, you will learn about all of the above and more. Additional topics to be covered are: goal setting, basic finance, job hunting, substance use and abuse, sexual assault and sexual harassment, mental illness including depression and anxiety, and many more invaluable topics. This course will include several field trips and guest speakers.

Food Science: Exploring the Edible Side of Chemistry

Ms. Bush with help from Ms. van Liew, Mr. Holt, and guest speakers

Have you ever wondered how scientists determine how much energy is in food, why bread rises, why chocolate is smooth, or why eggs change their texture when heated? Using Simon Quellen Field’s engaging book Culinary Reactions: The Everyday Chemistry of Cooking as our main text, this Intensive will be focused on the chemical reactions in food such as fermentation, enzymatic degradation, acid/base chemistry, emulsions, crystallization, protein chemistry, and caramelization.

Time will also be spent discussing related topics such as food calorimetry, freezing/boiling point elevation, freeze-drying of food, and solubility. Most of the time will be spent performing experiments in the chemistry lab versus in the kitchen cooking. As a result, this class is open to students who have completed chemistry.

Intersecting Lines: Mathematics, Literature, and the Arts

Mr. Lippmann, Dr. Simeone, and Ms. Kovatch

The Golden Ratio, symmetry of design, geometric art, polyhedrons, Mobius Strip, fractals--are shapes inherently beautiful? Is “beauty” measurable? Does it have universal characteristics across disciplines, cultures, and eras? How does mathematics generate beauty, and what is the beauty of mathematics?

In this Intensive, students will explore the philosophical and aesthetic underpinnings that unite sciences and the arts. Sample discussion topics include: What are the connections between Bach’s music and Escher’s artwork? How do the rhythms of poetry reflect mathematical elegance? If patterns are pleasing, how do disruptions enhance aesthetic value? In addition to our classroom studies and our field trips to view museum art and textile collections, students will create their own mathematical designs, choosing from a variety of mediums such as music, poetry, textiles, string art, Platonic solids, multi-dimensional computer-generated images, quilting, knitting, cross-stitch, crochet, tessellations, architectural designs, and many more.

Issues of Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Ms. Robertson, Mr. Shoup, and Profe Iturbe
Juniors and Seniors Only

This course is designed to engage students in the examination of the role of race and gender in their lives and their world. Students will begin by developing the appropriate vocabulary and basic understanding of the evolution of race and gender in contemporary society before beginning to explore the current conditions in the local, national, and global communities.

By examining recent events in the U.S., Supreme Court decisions regarding affirmative action and abortion, as well as the role of privilege and class in American society, students will be encouraged to explore the ways in which the recent past influences our present. Students will look at the ways in which these issues play out through art, history, and literature during the past 40 years, and will finish their study with a documentary project and a small lesson for the class on the implications of race and gender in their own lives.

Movers and Makers: An Introduction to DIY Culture

Drs. Jones and Craig, featuring Mr. Ben Burghart

In this Intensive, we will explore the Maker movement and delve into Maker culture. Like other Makers, we will learn by doing, building, playing, and creating in a social environment. We will learn how to design and print 3D objects. We'll learn to program and set-up devices called Arduinos that interact with their environment using sensors and actuators to create robots, e-textiles, digital "Magic 8-balls", and more.

No programming background is required- we’ll learn whatever we need to know as we go. What will you make? Want a tracksuit or backpack with turn-signals? Who doesn't? Want your houseplant to send you a Tweet every time the soil gets too dry? Now it can! You are only limited by your imagination!

Musicals and Gangsters: Film Genres and Introduction to Filmmaking

Mr. Taylor and Mr. Mattise

This Intensive will be a continuation of the Silent Film Intensive from 2014 although no prior knowledge is necessary in order to take the class. Moving into the sound era, we will use the emerging genres of the musical and the gangster film to examine how Hollywood started to define and refine the kinds of movies that were made in the 1930s.

In this Intensive, we will learn to watch films critically as well as wrestle with the essential components of how to make a film. Students will receive a basic vocabulary of how to talk about film while also putting those terms into practice. The aim is for the class to work together to make a short film that goes from germ of an idea to finished edited product in about three weeks. With a balance of critical and practical skills, this Intensive is an ideal way to see the deep history of film while learning the basic tenets of how to make a narrative film. Films under consideration for study: Angels with Dirty Faces, Little Caesar, Scarface (1930s), 42nd Street, Gold Diggers of 1933, and maybe even Singing in the Rain.

Photojournalism in the Digital Age

Ms. Moore-Coll

Digital and mobile photography have revolutionized the field of photojournalism. In this class, we’ll learn how to shoot and edit pictures in the field using your iPhone and/or iPad, and also how to work with digital SLR cameras and Adobe Lightroom software for editing full-resolution pictures. Students are encouraged to bring their own equipment, but a digital SLR is available for use at school for those who don’t have their own. We will identify personal “mini-documentary” projects, and each student will maintain a simple blog to present and publish images, both works-in-progress and final online portfolios.

Social Entrepreneurship: Business design that makes a difference

Ms. Reed, Ms. Swain, and Mr. Buford

Instead of checking boxes to fit into someone else’s box, learn to build your own future! In this interdisciplinary course you will begin building a business plan that makes a difference, culminating in a final “Pitch Competition” to a panel of local entrepreneurs. With the help of local entrepreneurs, you will refine your ideas, make connections in the community, and begin to put your business plan into action. Embark on an entrepreneurial adventure that can change the world!

Sports and Emergency Medicine

Ms. Bartos and Ms. Norte

Students will be introduced to basic concepts of sports and emergency medicine and will gain a better understanding of the possible related careers. They will learn medical terminology, some anatomy and physiology, taping and wrapping techniques, and other basic skills that incorporate injury prevention, evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation. We will visit or hear from a variety of medical professionals.

The Art of Argument, the Science of Persuasion and the Importance of Rhetoric

Mr. Klaus and Mr. Lourie

In this course, students will learn the many ways that humans attempt to influence one another and how we are moved to feel and act in certain ways, sometimes without knowing it is even happening. What makes one politician’s speech more effective than another’s (it’s often not the substance)? What makes one product more attractive than another (it’s often not the quality)? Why do we find one sitcom funnier than another (it’s often not the quality of the jokes)? Why is one job candidate hired over another (it’s often not the qualifications)? Why are some juries persuaded and others not (it’s often not the the evidence)?

The answers to these questions and more rest in an awareness of the science of influence, the construction of an effective argument, and the elements of rhetoric. Students will walk away from this course prepared to compose and deliver an influential and memorable speech, and aware of the powers of influence that impact our lives each day.

The Philosophy and Neuroscience of Consciousness

Mr. Lane and Dr. Troy

Are you really in there?

This cohort of students will explore the emerging fields of the philosophy and neuroscience of consciousness. Following a review of the history and philosophy of the self and consciousness, students will study what our brains tell us about the world, what the world tells us about our brains, and what progress philosophy and neuroscience have made in resolving and understanding the two.

Students, through engagement with both new and old philosophical texts and recent research in neuroscience, will examine whether neuroscience can help answer some of the questions that have puzzled philosophers for thousands of years. What exactly is consciousness? Do we have free will? Does our perception match reality? Are we the only beings to have consciousness?

The Teenage Brain

Mr. Cromer and Ms. Speidel

This Intensive will explore physiological and psychological aspects of the teenage brain. Students will learn about the unique ways the brain of a teenager functions, with specific investigations into decision making, learning, mental health, and the impact of coping mechanisms (beneficial and detrimental).

A broad array of readings and learning experiences will set the foundation for student research into specific aspects of cognitive psychology and neuroscience. Visiting experts in the field - including cognitive scientists, neurologists, therapists, and counselors - will speak with the class.

Tolkien: The Man and His Mythology

Mr. Beardsley and Ms. Flatin

How does an author create a believable fantasy world? What criteria are essential for a reader to embrace that world fully? How do themes in Tolkien’s mythology connect with people today in the 21st century? What impact has Tolkien’s work had on the popular culture of today?

In this intensive we will examine Tolkien’s lifelong commitment to language, myth, and storymaking. We will examine his life and the role it played in his work. Texts examined will include Tree and Leaf, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. We will also look at the impact Tolkien has had on popular culture today including music, artwork, games, fantasy, and gaming. Students signing up should have an interest in fantasy stories and exploring fantasy worlds.

Vamos! Hispanic Culture Through Food, Dance, and History

Dr. Visscher-Gingerich, Ms. Moses, and Ms. Miller

Students in this course will learn about different aspects of Hispanic cultures through the study of history, religion, literature, dance and food. One of the main aims of this course is to foster greater global empathy. This course will offer a balance of mini lectures, student research and presentations, field trips, and hands-on experiences.

Some of the highlights of the course are: a visit to the Dumbarton Oaks Museum in Washington D.C. to see artifacts from the Inca, Maya and Aztec civilizations; participation in the celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe celebration a at a local church in Charlottesville; salsa classes with a professional Colombian salsa instructor; cooking classes with professional chefs from Mexico, Peru and Spain; interviews of Hispanic immigrants about their immigration experience to the U.S.

At the end of the course, students will share their knowledge through presentations and salsa classes given to Learning Village students.

Vines and Lines: Viticulture and En Plein Air Art

Ms. Parker, Mr. Austin Hamilton, and Ms. Madeleine Mazzola
Juniors and Seniors Only

Vines and Lines will take a broad look at viticulture and landscape drawing and/or painting. The topics discussed will include the yearly growth cycle of grapevines, the characteristics of international grape varieties, specific wine producing regions of the world and understanding the basics of winemaking. Understanding the physiology of grapevines will help students better draw and/or paint the landscape in pastel, pencil, charcoal, acrylic and oil mediums. Students will study the history of landscape painting from Impressionism to contemporary artists and local artists. Students will learn how to draw/paint a landscape, find their artistic voice, exhibit artwork, speak about artwork, and write an artist statement. Students will be in the studio, outside, and travel to various local wineries.

Wildlife Management

Mr. Johnson, Mr. Ware, and Mr. Zunka

Why is it important to conserve Virginia wildlife? With the increased population of humans, it is imperative that native and non-native wildlife is managed successfully. In order to fully understand successful management, students need to have an understanding of habitat, population dynamics, life histories, and behavior. Students will gain understanding by researching, observing in natural habitats, and learning effective management and harvesting techniques.

World Religions in Central Virginia

Mr. Clark and Mr. Brooks Tate

Students will encounter the richness of world religions in central Virginia through field trips to five different religious centers, text studies, and daily mindfulness / yoga practice. Visits will span Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, and likely include Satchidananda Ashram Yogaville, Ligminicha Bon Buddhist Institute, Congregation Beth Israel, Our Lady of Angels Monastery, and the Islamic Society of Central Virginia.

In addition to gaining background on the religions through scripture and art, the production of a multi-media guidebook based on site visits and interviews will be a central focus.

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